Abstract

We conducted a genome-wide association study of low bone mineral density (BMD) at the hip and spine utilizing sequence variants found through whole-genome sequencing of 2636 Icelanders. We found two rare missense mutations, p.Gly496Ala and p.Gly703Ser, in the COL1A2 gene that associate with measures of osteoporosis in Icelanders. Mutations in COL1A2 are known to cause the autosomal dominant disorder osteogenesis imperfecta. Both variants associate with low BMD and with osteoporotic fractures. p.Gly496Ala (frequency of 0.105%) shows the strongest association with low BMD at the spine (p = 1.8 × 10(-7) , odds ratio [OR] = 4.61 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.59, 8.18]), whereas p.Gly703Ser (frequency of 0.050%) is most strongly associated with low BMD at the hip (p = 1.9 × 10(-8) , OR = 9.34 [95% CI 4.28, 20.3]). Association with fractures was p = 2.2 × 10(-5) , OR = 3.75 (95% CI 2.03, 6.93) and p = 0.0023, OR = 4.32 (95% CI 1.69, 11.1), respectively. The carriers of these variants do not have signs of osteogenesis imperfecta other than low BMD, demonstrating that similar mutations in COL1A2 can affect skeletal phenotypes in more than one way.

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